While growing up in the small Los Angeles county city of La Verne, California during the late 70’s and 80’s, Japanese-American William Hiroyuki Saito, could have never dreamed that he would one day helm a startup IT security software firm—I/O Software, Inc., that would develop one of the world’s first biometric authentication and identification systems. An innovator in then emerging field of IT security software development; I/O Software’s groundbreaking software would later be acquired in 2000 by computer giant Microsoft Corporation for integration into all of the subsequent versions of its’ Windows operating system.
I/O’s epic successes led Ernst & Young to name Mr. Saito as the Entrepreneur of the Year in 1998. Not one to rest on his laurels; he later moved to Japan and began his second business incarnation as a venture capitalist and government IT security consultant. He was subsequently enlisted by several agencies within the Japanese government as a trusted IT security advisor and consultant; even acting as a direct security advisor to then Prime Minister, Shinze Abe. The Japanese National Diet Committee, assigned the monumental task of investigating the cause of the 2011 Fukushima Nuclear leak, also sought out Saito’s security expertise and advise during the same period. Once again, Saito’s many achievements were recognized and he was named Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum in that same year.
While initially finding success in the private sector and then later in the public realm; Saito was ready to return to working with private enterprise where he assumed the role of Executive Officer and General Manager with Japan Airlines. Never content to become complacent; Saito would later venture into the previous un-chartered waters of academia, as he became a professor at the Toyko University of Agriculture and Technology and later, a published author.
These days, Saito has turned his visionary sights to offering his vast reservoir of knowledge and experience to start-up business entrepreneurs. Based on his own remarkable journey from a fledgling small biz owner; he knows the ins-and-outs of what it takes to navigate the often unyielding and often treacherous waters that define the startup entrepreneur experience. Ultimately, Saito believes that fate favors the bold and innovative and if his own personal journey doesn’t provide more than ample proof of this belief; he points to historical fact that bares out that the most successful startups have taken risks when economic indicators would have cautioned them otherwise.